PORTLAND, Ore — It was announced Thursday, June 7 that Valerie L. Walker, also known as Veedub, had passed away in the early morning hours. Veedub was a longtime member of the Feri community, a Witch, an author, artist, singer, priestess, and beloved teacher. Valerie Walker was born May 16 in London, England to Bee Brown and Louis Langham. Her family eventually moved to Chicago where she attended Roger Sullivan High School in Chicago. Veedub’s spiritual journey began around 1955 when, at the age of 18, she discovered Robert Graves’ The White Goddess.
Mat Auryn is our guest columnist this week. An initiate of Sacred Fires tradition, Mat lives in New England. Find him at his Patheos Pagan blog, For Puck’s Sake as well as his personal website. As someone who has studied with various traditions and taken many courses on magick over the years both in person and online, I’m constantly asked what the difference is and how it’s possible to learn magick online, especially when it comes to the idea of initiations. While there are a few differences between learning online and offline, it’s important to clear up some misconceptions about learning the craft from a teacher online.
Last week we reported that the website Lilith’s Lantern had been shut down. Founded in 2003, the site was run by the members of Mandorla coven, many of whom had worshiped with Feri tradition founders Victor and Cora Anderson. It was considered to be a resource that reflected a line of teaching that came directly from their mouths. Also called the Anderson tradition, and Faery and Faerie, the practice was eventually called “Feri” by Victor Anderson himself, and these varied names reflect the way this Pagan path has grown and evolved. Victor Anderson’s story of being initiated as a boy in the 1920s by a “tiny old woman” sitting in a circle he found one day in his native Oregon was recounted in Drawing Down the Moon.
I’ve written before about my friend Alley Valkyrie, a Feri initiate and Witch who runs a small local gift and clothing business in my town called Practical Rabbit, and who has become a central activist regarding how the homeless are treated in Eugene, Oregon. Her work on behalf of the homeless population’s basic legal rights has gotten her arrested, and garnered her plenty of local press in various stand-offs with local law enforcement and government officials. I know first-hand that Alley has spent thousands of her own dollars (and hours) on public record requests, legal challenges, and providing assistance to the local community, but as many veteran activists know, such individual efforts on problems so large and systematic can be draining, and without support many activists quickly burn out. Knowing this, and wanting to take her activism to the next level, a small group which includes Alley have launched a new organization called the Nightingale Public Advocacy Collective. “Our actions and objectives are rooted in the principle that everyone has a right to exist in public space regardless of socioeconomic status, and that the basic civil rights of individuals in public space outweigh the economic interests of businesses and government. We believe that all members of our community have inherent value regardless of their economic contributions or financial worth.
[The following obituary was submitted to The Wild Hunt by Feri Tradition initiate Onyx.]
Victor Elon Anderson, son of Victor and Cora Anderson, the modern founders of the Feri Tradition, crossed over peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, March 31, 2013. Elon was born on April 12, 1945, in Bend, Oregon. Shortly after his birth, Victor and Cora moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. Elon spent most of his youth in Hayward, Calif. During junior high school he met Gwydion Pendderwen, whom he initially sparred with and then befriended.